After Joshua, and the elders that outlived him, died “another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel”. Welcome to the Judges Era where everyone is doing what is right in their own sight (Judges 17:6, 21:25). 😱 This never goes well!! The children of Israel are intermarrying with the nations around them, worshiping their gods, and doing all kinds of evil in the sight of the Lord. Therefore, the Lord allows their enemies to overtake them. When the people cry out to Him, He raises up a judge to rescue them. This is called the sin cycle: Israel serves the Lord – Israel does evil – Israel is oppressed by their enemies – Israel cries out – God raises up a judge – Israel is delivered – and repeat. This cycle happens 7 times over about a 350 year period with 12 different judges, some serving during overlapping periods, in the book of Judges. We will meet 2 more judges, Eli and Samuel, in the Kingdom Era.)
So the children of Israel are doing evil and the Lord sold them into the hand of Cushan-Rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia, for 8 years. Othniel, Caleb’s son in law, delivered them and they had peace for 40 years. After Othniel died, the children of Israel were back to doing evil. And here we go… The Lord delivered them to Elgon, king of Moab for 18 years. When the Israelites cried out, He raised up Ehud to deliver them. Ehud shoved a dagger in fat Elgon’s belly killing him and Israel had peace for 80 years. Tomorrow we meet the only woman judge. Keep reading!